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Ally Shrader
Movie Review: Freedom Writers

Freedom Writers begins with Eva, a Hispanic just trying to get by in life, lay down the lifestyle they are used to. Hatred fills their streets and not even home is a safe haven. Hilary Swank assumes the role of Erin Gruwell who is a teacher new to Woodrow Wilson High. Woodrow Wilson High School was once one of the highest achieving high schools in the area yet with the new integration plans the test scores and achievement levels have dropped severely. Mrs. Gruwell comes from a privileged home in Newport and chooses to teach the “unteachables” that come from various backgrounds. These students are not concerned with academics; they are fighting to stay alive. Every person in that classroom is attempting to overcome his or her own battles but nothing will be solved until the initial problem is resolved, racism. The classroom is clearly divided and everyone is sticking to his or her own kind. Mrs. Gruwell sees this as a problem but it is not addressed publicly until she intercepts a racist drawing of a black mad pointing fun at the size of his lips. She begins lecturing them on how racism can lead to bigger things such as a Holocaust and then finds out that none of the students know what a Holocaust is. Mrs. Gruwell places her trust in the students and purchases them books to read and helps them raise money to take trips to things like the Holocaust memorial. These students need to be educated. By doing this, she has earned their respect since no other teacher, parent, or human being has taken the time to show any interest in these students. Throughout this entire year, other teachers and faculty members have been putting Mrs. Gruwell down but when the end of the year comes and these students are showing improvement, no one can argue with her teaching styles. Sophomore year rolls around and Mrs. Gruwell is given the same students. This year has been centered on “A Toast for Change”. They read “The Diaries of Anne...
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